What Is the Average Cost to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Cost to hire a social media manager

Social media managers driving promotional campaigns to woo online audiences to your brand can be costly to hire.

On average, their hiring costs will range from $100 to $5000 per month or $20 – $50 per hour, in 2024. This is because they possess the array of analytical and critical skills needed to strategically plan, implement, and steer your social media campaigns to accomplish your brand’s goals.

The hiring price depends on your social media targets, scale, and type of employment (freelancer, full-time employee, or agency). Nevertheless, there are ways to optimize your budget without compromising on quality.

A skilled social media manager can capably enhance your brand’s online presence. The return on your investment in a talented manager can yield rich dividends. An astute social media manager is like a catalyst for business growth. They make the most of trendy ads on platforms like Facebook, where 50% of consumers are likely to discover new products. What is even more impressive is a whopping 58% CTR.

So, buckle up as we explore the details of hiring a social media manager and discover ways to minimize the costs while making every penny count.

Why Do You Need a Social Media Manager?

The necessity of a social media manager cannot be emphasized enough in the age of the Internet. Whether you are running a bustling small enterprise or steering a large corporation with a global footprint, the demands of social media are both relentless and intricate.

As a small business owner, you might find yourself strapped for time. To keep up with the deluge of messages across various social media channels. On the flip side, if you are a large business with a global presence, the need to effectively manage diverse accounts becomes paramount. Whatever the scenario, a social media manager is a valuable asset for any business.

social media management costs

Having a skilled social media manager on your team can help your business grow greatly by attracting interested and loyal target audiences. Here’s why having a social media manager on your team can be a game-changer for your business:

  • Expertise and Strategy: Social media managers are well-versed in each platform, from understanding algorithms to making compelling content. They can develop a data-driven social media strategy that aligns with your overall business goals, ensuring your efforts are targeted and effective.
  • Content Creation: Creating engaging content consistently is key to social media success. A social media manager can handle everything from brainstorming creative ideas to writing captions and visuals. It frees you up to focus on other core aspects of your business.
  • Community Management and Engagement: Nurturing a thriving online community is crucial for building brand loyalty. A social media manager can actively engage, respond to comments and messages, and address any concerns promptly. This builds trust and strengthens customer relationships.
  • Staying Ahead of the Curve: Social media trends and algorithms are constantly evolving. A social media manager stays on top of the latest trends, ensuring you leverage the newest features and strategies to maximize your reach and impact.
  • Time Management and Efficiency: Managing social media effectively requires significant time and dedication. A social media manager takes this burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other priorities while ensuring your social media presence remains active and engaging.

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What Do Social Media Managers Do?

Social media managers chisel out your brand’s positive image and fortify your brand’s presence on various social platforms that are frequented by almost 5.07 billion users every day.

In a nutshell, they perform an array of jobs that give your brand a competitive advantage over adversaries for targeted niche segments. The prominent activities carried out by social media managers include:

  1. Conceptualizing and developing a strategic roadmap to expand your brand’s online presence.
  2. Devising unique promotional strategies and customizing them for different platforms.
  3. Creating and posting compelling, witty, and relevant content that can grab attention.
  4. Collaborating with media designers to develop immersive visuals, captions, and multimedia that can showcase your brand’s personality in the right light.
  5. Scheduling the time and frequency of social media posts after analyzing the opportune time for making posts to capture optimum attention.
  6. Retweet your social media followers’ comments and messages to keep them in good humor and trigger viral conversations around trending topics.
  7. Building a vibrant community of social followers and addressing the issues plaguing their experience with your brand.
  8. Managing paid social media campaigns to widen your brand’s outreach.
  9. Using relevant keywords, hashtags, and handles to keep your brand’s voice trending.
  10. Driving revenue growth for your brand by presenting your brand with a consistent tone.
  11. Managing online reputation and warding off malicious attacks on your brand’s image.
social media manager work

How Does Outsourcing a Social Media Manager Work?

Managing your social media presence effectively can feel like a full-time job in itself. Between crafting engaging content, staying up-to-date on trends, and interacting, it’s easy to see why many businesses consider outsourcing a social media manager.

There are two main options for outsourcing your social media management:

  • Freelancers: Individual social media specialists who can offer flexible arrangements and cater to specific needs. Costs can vary depending on experience and the scope of work.
  • Social Media Agencies: Teams of social media experts who bring diverse skillsets and experience to the table. Agencies typically offer a wider range of services but may come at a higher cost.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical steps involved in outsourcing your social media management:

  1. Define Your Needs: Clearly outline your social media goals, target audience, and brand voice. This helps potential social media managers understand your vision and tailor their approach.
  2. Find the Right Fit: Research freelancers or agencies with experience in your industry and a proven track record of success. Review portfolios, client testimonials, and case studies to assess their capabilities.
  3. Establish Clear Communication: Open communication is key. Discuss expectations, content calendars, approval processes, and reporting metrics clearly at the outset.
  4. Onboarding and Access: Provide the social media manager with access to your brand guidelines, social media accounts, and any relevant marketing materials to ensure brand consistency.
  5. Content Collaboration: Work collaboratively to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
  6. Performance Monitoring: Schedule regular check-ins to review results, discuss analytics, and refine your strategy as needed.
You can use Predis.ai Social Media Post Generator to streamline content creation and maintain consistency across platforms.

How to Get Started and Plan Social Media Management Costs?

Hiring a social media manager perfect for your company is no child’s play. That’s why we have done the brainstorming and have it all broken down for you.

You must determine your budget and how much you want to allocate to this venture. On average, a comprehensive social media program, including content creation, advertising campaign development, and social media software, costs $12,300. This includes all costs related to:

  1. Content creation: $7,950 per month
  2. Social advertising: $5,000 per month
  3. Platform management: $5,000 per month
  4. Total: $17,950 per month

You can also choose a basic program that costs between $500–$5,000 per month.

A business needs to realize that the costs involved may vary depending on various factors. These include the business’s needs, the availability of the social media manager, the experience level, and the geographical location. Other variable factors include the scope of the professional’s work and the quality of content expected.

Hence, these variables must be given due consideration when determining the budget to ensure a customized and effective social media strategy for your business.

Social Media Management Pricing Models and Strategies

Before you decide on the cost of social media management – consider these pricing strategies:

  1. Cost-based pricing: This means selling more than you spend. You calculate the services’ costs and then add a percentage to that price, which results in the selling price.
  2. Competition-based pricing: This method uses competitor prices as a benchmark. You can set the price higher/lower or within the market’s ranges. This method requires research and knowledge of industry trends.
  3. Value-based pricing: Under this method, you must assess the value the social media management expertise brings to your business through products and services.

Social media management pricing models:

  1. Price per hour: The hourly rate is one of the most popular models. Under this model, you pay for every hour of labor spent on the project.
  2. Price per activity or task: This is most suitable for commission agencies. You must consider factors like the time required to complete the task, the estimated delivery time, and the number of people involved.
  3. Retainer-based price: Here, businesses pay in advance for work performed on an ongoing basis, especially when social media accounts are handled by specialists in the long term.
  4. Performance-based price: Here, you pay based on the services’ performance. This method is most commonly used in the advertising industry, where specific pre-defined marketing goals are established.

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Choosing the Ideal Candidate for Your Team

Deciding whether you want to hire an employee, a freelancer, or a marketing agency depends solely on the size of your brand, your budget, and your marketing goals.

Let’s break down every approach for your better understanding.

1. Hiring an Employee

Hiring an employee on payroll can have both positive and negative impacts on your business. You can get an experienced employee to handle your accounts, ensuring no lag in communication or trust issues. Using a problem-solving test to screen candidates at the first step can help you make sure that the selected candidates have a go-getting and problem-solving attitude.

On the other hand, however, there are costs associated with having someone dedicated solely to managing these tasks full-time. While this may bring added value, it could also take away resources from other areas, such as marketing or product development, if not managed correctly.

Glassdoor reports that social media managers may charge different salaries depending on their location. For example, social media managers in New York City, NY, USA, make an average of $65k per year, while those in Tulsa, Oklahoma, make an average of $50k.

According to Glassdoor, the salary for a social media manager in the US ranges between $48,000 – $77,000, while the average salary is about $64,846 per year, excluding bonuses.

  • A junior social media manager – $48k
  • An experienced social media manager – $77k per year

Glassdoor reports that the average base salary of a social media manager in the UK is £35,183, which is roughly equivalent to $42,000.

According to PayScale’s findings:

  • Experts having 1-4 years of experience – The average salary is $57,000
  • 5-9 years of experience – The average salary is $66,000
  • 10-19 years of experience – The average salary is $75,000

According to Zippia, this is what social media managers earn in different industries:

  • Internet: $71,000
  • Tech: $82,546
  • Media: $70,960
  • Finance: $74,173
  • Retail: $70,013

Differences in the cost of living between the two cities, as well as the availability and quality of talent in each location, likely influence these variations in salaries.

It’s important to note that these salary ranges are just generalizations. Individual salaries may vary based on factors such as a candidate’s experience, education, and specific job responsibilities.

2. Hiring a Freelancer

Hiring a freelancer may work out best for your business if you do not need long-term management. However, a potential drawback of hiring freelancers is that their social media management role may only be a side hustle. This could lead to them not diving deep into your brand image and producing creative content as you might want them to.

On average, freelance social media managers may charge between $10 and $100. That’s anywhere from $4000-$7000 per month. One potential disadvantage of hiring a freelancer is that they typically work independently rather than as part of a larger team.

cost to hire social media managers
Costs to Hire Social Media Managers

Freelancers often charge an hourly rate for social media management services. For example, an Upwork social media manager will charge from $15/hr. Social media freelancers with 3+ years of experience will usually charge $45/hr or more. This is the cost as per experience level:

  • With less than 3 years of experience: $25 – $35 per hour
  • 3-5 years experience: $35–50/hour
  • Five to ten years of experience: $50 per hour or more

Fiverr, a global online marketplace, is a great option if freelancer services suit you the best. You can find the right social media manager for you to achieve your business-specific or even platform-specific goals.

3. Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

However, it is important to understand that you may have to shell out some indirect costs before the ball gets rolling. These include:

  • One-off onboarding fees of $300 or more will introduce you to a social media management account and train your staff.
  • Paid post-promotion fees of $50–$100 every day if bespoke paid campaigns have to be deployed on different platforms.
  • Fees are negotiable for offering personalized, prompter, and direct support to premium customers and covering areas not included in the standard package.
  • Extra social channel fee, typically $150 per month, for targeting those platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. that are not covered in the standard service level agreement.
  • Fees, one-time or long-term, for hiring the services of an influencer who shall endorse your brand for different posts by the social media manager. 
social media marketing agency

4. Using Digital Marketing Software

Using social media management software can reduce the work and time required to curate content for social media while still delivering quality and creativity. Most social media management software uses AI to create quality content while using brand language, analyzing current trends, and providing insight-driven strategies.

Prices of such tools range from $0 (free plans) to $1000+, depending on your custom needs.

For example, Predis.ai offers a free plan and paid plans ranging from $25 to $126 per month.

With Predis.ai, you can generate entire social media posts, including creatives, carousels, videos, captions, and hashtags, with the help of AI.

predis.ai content generator

Determining the Scope of Work

Clearly explain the role and work that you want your social media manager to undertake.

This will help you plan out the budget range you want to dedicate to social media management so that you can look for social media managers within that range.

1. Content Creation

Simple content creation may cost less when in the hands of single employees or freelancers. This may vary across the platforms you use and the number of posts you make. TikTok, followed by Facebook, costs the lowest, ranging from $100 to $175 per post, while video content platforms like YouTube and Instagram may cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per post, reel, story, or video, and rightly so.

According to The Washington Post, an average American viewer watches TikTok for 80 minutes a day – more than the time spent on Facebook and Instagram combined. This makes video production an important trend in social media marketing.

2. Advertising on Social Media

Advertising on social media is a great way to reach potential customers and build brand recognition. It can be an effective, affordable tool for businesses of any size.

The cost of advertising on social media varies greatly depending on what type of campaign you want to run and which platform you use for your ad campaigns.

On average, most companies spend anywhere from $4000 to $7000 on their campaigns; however, this number can vary significantly based on budget constraints as well as desired outcomes from each campaign effort put forth by the company’s or organization’s marketing team or the agency partner they have hired.

ads on social media

Having an expert in place who understands all aspects of running successful ad campaigns across multiple platforms will help ensure that your business gets maximum value out of its investment in these initiatives.

3. Management of Platforms

The prices for platform management will vary according to the number of profiles and platforms a social media manager or agency handles. The average cost to hire a social media manager for this would be between $100 – $4000 per month.

Furthermore, engagement through messaging and mentions, which need prompt responses, the size of your online community, and the features you use will also influence the price.

managing social media platforms

Social media management platforms are incredibly important for businesses and organizations. They allow you to manage your social media presence easily. You can also create content tailored to your target audience, track engagement metrics, and measure the success of campaigns.

With these tools in place, it’s easier to build a solid online presence and reach new customers or followers. Taking advantage of these platforms can help you stay ahead of the competition. It will ensure your message is heard loud and clear by those who matter most!

4. Customer Retention and Community-Building

Your social media manager is responsible for retaining customers and building a vibrant community of social media followers. They can work independently or in collaboration with others on your in-house team.

The nature of the job can be exciting. It can range from replying to followers’ direct messages to posting satisfactory responses to complaints lodged by visitors on your brand’s social media pages to organizing online events with rewards for loyal page visitors.

The managers who perform the aforementioned jobs often charge between $40 and $190 per hour. This can go up to $320 per hour if you hire managers from a renowned agency.

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Top Factors that Influence the Cost of Social Media Management

Here are some critical factors to consider when deciding the cost of social media management:

  1. Estimated Time and Effort for Project Completion: Projects vary in complexity and duration. You must assess the time it takes for campaigns to complete a project. This should include project creation, implementation, and revisions.
  2. Expertise: Expertise and experience should be considered while deciding costs. Check portfolios, previous customer experiences, reviews, and data that highlight achievements. Several professionals offer video case studies and proof, which can be considered.
  3. Range of Skills: Decide the cost of a social media management service based on innovation, creativity, content formation and writing skills, project management, community management, and analytics. Understand how each feature can contribute to the overall success of the strategy.
  4. Industry Trends: Costs can vary based on the industry as specialized niches come at extra costs as they require more research and customization.
  5. Geographic Location: Rates can vary based on location, as professionals in metropolitan cities have high costs, whereas some areas are less expensive regions.
  6. Contract Type: Depending on experience and location, Pricing can include hourly rates, monthly rates, or project-based fees.
  7. Additional Considerations: Always consider the potential return on investment and estimate how a skilled manager can enhance brand visibility, which must justify the initial cost.

How to Minimize Social Media Management Costs?

If there’s one thing that’s evident at this point, it’s that social media marketing doesn’t come cheap. It requires allocating anywhere from $500-$15,000, depending on the scope of work. You might be wondering if there are certain ways to reduce these costs, and the answer is yes. Let us spell it out for you.

  • Data Analysis to Ensure Cost Efficiency: You can start analyzing the data accrued from your social media ads. This can help you identify trends, interests, and signals in your buyer persona and save time on market research. However, doing so requires a dedicated social media manager, and depending on the scope of data to sift through, hiring one could be expensive.
  • A Bird in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush: Another solution is to focus on retaining your existing customers rather than continuously generating new leads. Acquiring a single new customer is much more expensive than engaging your existing customer base.
  • Rely On User-generated Content- A third potential solution is to rely on user-generated content. Statistics show that 90% of customers trust user-generated content or peer recommendations over a brand’s means of advertising. It highlights the importance of encouraging your customers to create and share content related to your products or services.
Use Predis.ai Social Media Ad Copy Generator to generate high-quality ad copy at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional copywriter or agency.


A good social media manager can bring about a visible surge in your brand’s online reputation, follower engagement, customer conversion, and revenue generation. To ensure that you get the best hiring deal and the most seasoned professional to steer your social media campaigns, research thoroughly, assess your needs, and screen your candidates. Hire a professional who resonates with your brand’s values and is a perfect match for the company.

However, there’s no denying that hiring a social media manager or an agency can be expensive, especially for a bootstrapped business or a startup. This is where Predis.AI can come in handy, as it offers you a complete suite of tools to help you streamline your social media operations.

From creating branded content, collaborating with teammates, and creating social media content across various formats to generating creatives and performing competitor analyses, this tool is the perfect combination of ChatGPT, Canva, and HootSuite.

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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder @Predis.ai, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.